By Stephen Matthews Health Editor For Mailonline
Published: 00:01 GMT, 1 November 2019 | Updated: 00:21 GMT, 1 November 2019
More Britons than ever are dying of liver cancer amid the nation's spiralling obesity crisis, an analysis has today revealed.
Cancer Research UK found 5,700 people lost their lives to the killer disease in the UK in 2017 – up from 3,200 ten years before.
It warned deaths from liver cancer, which tends to not cause symptoms until it is too late to treat, are rising faster than they are for any other type of the disease.
The charity blamed soaring rates of obesity – linked to almost a quarter of all cases. Two thirds of British adults now considered overweight.
Mortality figures show liver cancer kills three times as many people as it did when records began – from 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people in 1971 to 9.3 in 2017 (red = males, blue = overall, green = females)
Cancer Research UK's liver cancer expert, Professor Helen Reeves at Newcastle University, said: 'Unfortunately, progress in treating liver cancer has been painfully slow and we desperately need more options for patients.
'Another problem is the rise in the number of people being diagnosed, which has meant we are losing more people to this disease than ever before.
'Rising levels of obesity and associated conditions like diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have likely had a big role in this, although they aren't the only factors.'
Mortality figures show liver cancer kills three times as many people as it did when records began – from 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people in 1971 to 9.3 in 2017.
And there has been a 50 per cent increase in the last decade – from 6.1 in 2007, according to the same Cancer Research UK analysis.